Spotify is retiring the Car View mode that made listening while driving easier

Spotify app open on iPhone
(Image credit: 9091086 / Shutterstock)

You may remember that Spotify launched a special Car View mode for its Android app back in 2019, featuring a simplified interface with larger buttons to make it easier to operate the app on the go. Now Car View is being officially retired.

As spotted by Android Police (opens in new tab), the news was recently confirmed by a moderator post on the official Spotify forums, and is now being more widely reported. For the time being at least, it doesn't sound as though any other mode or view is going to replace Car View.

"We can confirm that we're retiring the Car View feature," the post reads (opens in new tab). "This however doesn't mean we don't want to improve on how our users listen to Spotify while driving. On the contrary, we're actively exploring a variety of new ways to deliver the best in-car listening experience."

Going hands-free

The forum post goes on to say that work is happening "backstage" on "improving the experience" in the car – and there is also a suggestion that Google Assistant or Siri could be used to launch songs on Spotify instead, hands-free, while driving.

That can certainly work, but it's perhaps not quite as straightforward as tapping on a screen, especially as you might already be listening to music at quite a loud volume, or have some very talkative family members around you in the vehicle.

If your car stereo dashboard supports Android Auto or Apple CarPlay then the Spotify interface can be accessed directly on that screen – but of course a lot of older automobiles on the road don't have those latest software options to fall back on.

Opinion: app makers need to work harder on in-car experiences


(Image credit: Spotify)

The retiring of Car View has left plenty of users unhappy, but Spotify is by no means the only software developer that can do better in terms of the interfaces that are offered up to users while they're driving. A lot of the time, there's no interface change at all.

Google recently pulled the plug (opens in new tab) on its Android Auto app for mobile phones – a stripped-down interface for those without an Android Auto-compatible car dashboard – and is pointing users towards Google Assistant instead.

Digital assistants do make on-the-go operations easier, but they're not always perfect, and sometimes you can't beat actual buttons. We'd like to see more app makers push out car-specific interfaces that make operating their apps as easy as turning up the heating or switching on the headlights in a car.

However, in the forum post announcing the demise of Car View, we do get this glimpse of hope for the future from the moderator: "Think of retiring Car View as something that needs to happen in an effort to make way for new innovations coming down the track."

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.